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Important Update from the Supreme Court: Cities can enforce bans on homeless people sleeping outside, reversing San Francisco ruling


A homeless man named Joe (R) reads a book under an overpass where he sleeps with a friend January 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A homeless man named Joe (R) reads a book under an overpass where he sleeps with a friend January 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Today marks a pivotal moment as the Supreme Court has ruled that cities can enforce bans on homeless individuals sleeping outdoors, even in areas where shelter is insufficient. This decision reverses a prior ruling that such bans constituted cruel and unusual punishment, raising significant concerns among homeless advocates.


READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.


The ruling affects numerous West Coast cities, notably in California, where one-third of the country’s homeless population resides. This decision comes at a time when homelessness has surged by 12% over the last year, reaching its highest levels since national records began.


At BOSS, we believe that homelessness should not be criminalized but addressed with compassion and effective public policy.


We stand with Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent that punishing people for their necessity to sleep outdoors is cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment.


Sleep is a biological necessity, not a crime... Punishing people for their status is ‘cruel and unusual’ under the Eighth Amendment

Justice Sonia Sotomayor


Homeless advocates said that allowing cities to punish people who need a place to sleep would criminalize homelessness and ultimately make the crisis worse. Cities had been allowed to regulate encampments but couldn’t bar people from sleeping outdoors.


We urge everyone to join us in advocating for humane solutions that recognize the dignity and rights of all individuals. Support policies that provide real solutions, such as increased shelter capacity, mental health services, and affordable housing initiatives.


READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.




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